This image is part of an ongoing VT History Photo Essay Project. The project objective seeks to explore VT history through images that also reflect the art and photography of the respective time period. Eventually the best images will be curated into a gallery on the website. Unless otherwise specified, the history is sourced from the excellent book by Charles t. Morrisey: Vermont - A History.
This 1846 building in Windsor, VT housed the Robbins and Lawrence gun making firm and today is the home of the American Precision Museum. The museum has one of the best collections of precision machine tools in the United States. From the earliest days of the industrial revolution, mass production of products with interchangeable parts had been a goal. A key hurdle had been the lack of precision in the manufacture of individual parts. In 1849, the Robbins and Lawrence company is considered to be the first to have developed this precision on a practical and mass production scale when it delivered to the US government 10,000 guns all with perfectly interchangeable parts. The impact of these guns and the importance of this manufacturing facility will be expanded in the next post.